October 27, 2013
A very good documentary overall, but I oppose one notion alludes to therein...
I appreciate many good points that Mr. Nesh raises in this documentary. I do, however, oppose those who charge that the traditional date for Christ's Nativity originated as a device to distract people from pagan holidays, or that the observance of Christ's Nativity on Dec. 25 might comprise a pagan practice, which was alluded to in _Zeitgeist Refuted_.
"Though it is true that December 25th was a pagan feast under the Roman calendar, the same is true of just about every other day on the calendar. It is also true that the early church made December 25th a Holy day of obligation, at the council of nicea in 325 AD, as a strategic move to prevent Christians from attending that pagan feast, but that does not mean the date was chosen for that purpose.
"The truth is that the celebration of December 25th as the Nativity of Our Lord can be traced back at least to 125 AD and the institution of the Midnight Christmas Mass by Bishop Telesphorus of Rome. Early Church Fathers Tertullion, Hippolytus, Cyril of Alexandria, and John Chrysostom all identified either December 25th or January 6th as Christ's date of birth. Pope Julius in the 4th century examined census documents brought by Titus to Rome to calculate the birth date of Christ and he, also, arrived at the date December 25.
"In fact, as far back as we can go, only two dates were generally excepted- December 25th and January 6th, with the majority adhering to the December date. This is why the early church established this space of time as the Christmas season.
"In the 2nd century, a massacre in the catacombs on December 25th was recorded as having occurred on the date of the Nativity.
"Alfred Edersheim, a Messianic Jew, wrote, 'There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds which seem to me historically untenable.'"
The case for December 25th, 2 BC, By Don Hartley, Deeper Truth Blog, Dec. 23, 2012
For a more thorough rebuttal of the supposed "pagan" origins of the traditional date, read the entire Deeper Truth article.
Related Link--Rick Larson's website:
The Star of Bethlehem: the facts about the star of Christ